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THIS is What Employers Are Looking for in a Candidate

By Stacy Pursell, CPC/CERS
The VET Recruiter®

Even if you’re not actively seeking a new job or actively looking for another employment opportunity, you might be curious as to whether or not you have what employers want. To an extent, this is human nature, but it’s also a good idea to benchmark yourself in certain areas for the purpose of assessing your candidacy in the market.

In other words, to more accurately gauge whether or not you would be considered a top professional by organizations in the employment marketplace.

10 top traits employers are seeking in candidates

I’ve written before about what employers want to see in job candidates. I’ve sometimes devoted entire articles to just one characteristic. In this particular article, though, I’d like to cover a wide range and provide a comprehensive list of attractive attributes.

One of the reasons for this approach is the fact that I was recently attending a career event with employers, and during that event, I had the opportunity to ask employers point-blank what they look for when considering candidates for their open positions. Their answers form the basis of this article, and I hope that you will take this opportunity to see how you “measure up” in the following areas.

Below are 10 things that employers are actually looking for in a job candidate:

#1—Hard worker

After all these years, nothing beats being a hard worker and being willing to go the “extra mile” to get the desired results. (Of course, when you have a passion for what you’re doing, it’s easier for you to work hard to get those results.)

#2—Problem solver

We’ve addressed this in previous articles and blog posts. The ability to solve problems is a form of value, and to employers, it’s one of the most important forms of value that a professional or candidate could have.


There multiple ways that a person can be flexible. For example, they can be flexible in their use of time and resources or they can be flexible in their approach to situations and circumstances. One of the reasons that some organizations prefer not to hire professionals who have been at their current employer for an extended period of time is because they believe the professionals are too set in their ways.


What does this mean? While changing jobs every two to three years has become more acceptable, organizations do not want to hire people who make it a habit to change jobs every year. (And in some instances, even more frequently than that.)

#5—Willing to learn

Employers do not want to hire someone who thinks they know it all. Instead, they want to hire professionals who know they don’t know it all and are also willing to engage in continuous training and education in an effort to add to the value that they can provide.


You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Do more with less” before, and this applies not only to resources, but also to time. Employees who are able to get more done in less time are more productive, and as a result, they’re considered to be more valuable.


This is related to #2 on our list, problem solving. Organizations want to hire people who think in a creative fashion, both to solve problems that currently exist and also to meet challenges and obstacles that may occur in the future.


No matter how sharp you are, you still have to interact well with other people, specifically your co-workers. Part of this collaboration involves the sharing of ideas and also considering ideas that other people give to you.

#9—Critical thinking skills

Possessing critical thinking skills is the opposite of being a “lazy thinker” who does not probe too deeply into a problem or situation. Once again, this is related to problem solving and underscores the importance that employers place on hiring people who have the ability to solve problems.

#10—Attention to detail

People who have an eye for detail can prevent mistakes from being made and can help to foster better communication throughout the entire organization. This, of course, leads to greater and higher levels of productivity and of success.

How an Animal Health Executive Recruiter can help

You might be wondering how an Animal Health Executive Recruiter can help, if the 10 traits and characteristics listed above are all things that candidates possess. They can help in more ways than you might think.

First, consider this article. Executive Recruiters can provide valuable information such as this to Animal Health and Veterinary professionals. That’s because they speak with hiring managers in the Animal Health industry about their hiring needs and what they’re looking for in job candidates daily.

Second, executive recruiters have thorough knowledge not only of the hiring manager but also about the organization that they represent. They know how it operates, they know its culture, and they know the reasons why someone would want to work there.

And third, an Animal Health executive recruiter can provide guidance and advice throughout the interviewing and hiring process. An experienced executive recruiter knows what works and what doesn’t work and how to present yourself in the best way possible to employers. And on top of that, they also know how to help you negotiate the best offer of employment if you become the top choice for one of their clients.

The bottom line is that executive recruiters know what employers are looking for in job candidates, and you can put that knowledge to work for you in your efforts to grow your career.

If you’re looking to make a change or explore your employment options, then we want to talk with you. I encourage you to contact us or you can also create a profile and/or submit your resume for consideration.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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